HorticultureKeymasterDecember 8, 2016 at 5:25 pmPost count: 98
Plants grow because of water flow. The shape plants take as they grow is because of water streaming through their tissues and water forming a pressure within the entire plant body; plant scientists say roots and shoots are always “turgid” because of a “water potential” that draws water into their tissues.
This seems like a purely physical, ‘hydraulic’ function for water as it flows around the plant until transpired, but in order for photosynthesis to happen at all, plants also need water to provide them with free electrons. This is a very specialized chemical reaction that happens inside the chloroplast membranes.
Photosynthesis is stuck and unable to run at all without free electrons derived from water molecules. To get free electrons for photosynthesis to proceed, plants have to constantly split water molecules; 2(H2O) molecules are cleaved to yield 4H+, oxygen (O2) and 4e- or 4 free electrons.
This is a precise chemical process that separates atoms; it is a redox chemical reaction of H2O, quite different from the “hydraulic” function water has in maintaining plant turgidity. And as a chemical reaction, water-splitting is a miraculous phenomenon that scientists have been trying to understand for decades. Without water splitting by plants we would have no oxygen on Earth and life would cease.
A short video showing this part of photosynthesis is here:
When we irrigate a cannabis plant with 1000ml (ie. 1 liter) of water, and the plant absorbs it all through its roots, a small amount of that liter of water is split; about 10 – 30 ml of water will be used up to get free electrons and to generate oxygen. The rest of the water will transpire out of the leaves and help keep the plant turgid. When irrigating our crops we are feeding them a source of electrons.
Recent scientific advancements in studying water splitting by plants are described here:
The fiery energy of the sun is used by plants to split water; it’s as though water “fuels” the capture of that light energy. If we could replicate the water-splitting reaction that plants do in all their green cells we would have an endless source of energy; we could copy how photosynthesis captures solar energy and have endless, free, green power!
For photosynthesis to function at all, water has to be split. The process by which plants capture light energy to make sugars depends on the presence of water molecules for their precious electrons. Every photon of light beaming around in our growing rooms needs a free electron to be “loose” inside the chloroplast, and available to then fix CO2 as sugars. If not light energy does nothing for plants; sunlight can’t be captured without water’s electrons.
So remember, without water splitting plants can’t use any of the light energy we pour onto them all day long. It’s not just for the provision of nutrients or for the “hydraulic” role that we need to water our plants preventing wilt. Water yields electrons that enable carbon (CO2) to be sequestered and built into the plant. Dried cannabis crops are 45% carbon by weight, and all that carbon was captured using the electrons from water.
A concise review of photosynthesis and photochemistry is found here:
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.